What's the difference between Magento 2 website, store, and store view?

Magento 2 has a 4-level hierarchy:

  1. Global
  2. Website
  3. Store
  4. Store View.

Let’s learn the difference.

Global

This is the highest level in the Magento hierarchy. Here you can set 3 options that will be the same for all stores:

  • Stock - configure the main product settings
  • Price - define the same price for products in all stores
  • Buyers - merge all store customer data into one big database for all websites

Website

With one Magento base, you can design various websites, for example, hats.com and pants.com. Here you can set different payment, and shipping methods for products. Set different prices, currencies, and websites, where the latter can  have a separate client base. Also, for each website, you can create multiple stores. But all the information will be collected in one admin panel.

Store

It’s possible to create several stores on one Magento 2 website. For each store, you can use different products and category structure. But all stores have the same currency and prices, payment and shipping methods, taxes, stock management system, customer accounts.

Store View

And finally, for every store, you can create several store views. The store views are usually used for different languages and currencies. All store views have the same categories, but you can specify different product prices. 

Example

To sum all the information and make it clear, let’s consider a simple example.

Say, you sell cars and auto parts. So, you have a domain abc.com that is connected with Magento installation (global level).

Now you can create 2 Magento websites with subdomains cars.abc.com and autoparts.abc.com.

Each website you can split on multiple stores. Cars.abc.com can include stores Audi, BMW, and Volkswagen. Autoparts.abc.com can include stores for new and used parts.

And if you sell cars in different countries, you can add different store views.

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